Detente Must Be Accompanied by Easing Repression on Part of USSR

Two Canadian Jewish spokesmen have warned that East-West detente could result in added human suffering unless it is accompanied by an easing of repression on the part of the Soviet Union. That point was made at a recent meeting with Canadian Foreign Secretary Mitchell Sharp by Alan Rose, executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress and Perry Meyer, a professor of law at McGill University.

At the meeting, held in Ottawa last week, Rose called attention to three sections adopted at the first phase of the European Security Council in Helsinki last July affirming the rights of travel between states, emigration, family reunification and business and professional contacts.

On the strength of those resolutions Rose asked that the Canadian government, which is a participant in the conference, make a special plea at the current talks in Geneva for free emigration for Soviet Jews “without let or hindrance.” Rose urged the Canadian government to ensure that the USSR undertakes obligations in the humanitarian and cultural fields, without which, he said, “detente could very well lead to a form of neo-appeasement.”

Prof. Meyer, who recently visited Moscow, spoke of the plight of Jewish activists he met there and specifically of the “tragic fate of Prof. Benjamin Levich and his family.” He expressed concern that “detente is leading to an intensification of oppression in the USSR.” Speaking on another matter, Saul Hayes, executive vice-president of the CJC called on the Canadian government to press the East German regime to undertake its obligations toward the Jewish victims of the Nazi holocaust.

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